Static electricity is the result of unequal positive and negative charges between two objects. While static electricity seems relentless and unavoidable, especially during dry winter months, keeping it at bay is easier than you might think. You can take steps to reduce the initial static electricity, control how it transfers to you, and reduce the electric shocks that occur each time you touch something.
Here are five simple solutions to help keep static electricity at bay:
- Use a humidifier. The combination of dry air and a running heater give static electricity a perfect environment to wreak havoc in. Increase the humidity in your home or office with a humidifier. The moisture in the air reduces static charges from building up. You can create your DIY humidifier by bringing water to a boil on the stove. You will need to check no the water level routinely to prevent it from evaporating and creating a fire risk. Add seasonal spices like cinnamon and citrus rinds that give off a pleasant scent while you humidify.
- Use an anti-static chemical to treat your carpets and upholstery. Carpet retailers and companies offer spray treatments to treat carpets and upholstery. Lightly mist your carpet and upholstery with an anti-static spray, and give it time to completely dry before walking or sitting on it. This method significantly decreases the amount of static electricity you are exposed to from your floors and furniture. To make a DIY combination static reducer and deodorizer spray at home, mix one capful of liquid fabric softener in a spray bottle of water, shake well, and lightly mist your carpet and upholstered furniture.
- Carry dryer sheets. Rubbing upholstered furniture like your car seats or office chair with dryer sheets reduces the static buildup on those surfaces. Dryer sheets are made to neutralize the electric charge.
- Remove and prevent static electricity build up on your skin. Keep your skin moisturized by rubbing lotion on your skin after a shower and before getting dressed and apply it to your hands intermittently during your day. Lotions and moisturizers help prevent static electricity from accumulating on dry skin on your body.
- Change your clothes. In cold months, avoid wearing synthetic fibers like polyester or nylon and instead chose natural fibers like cotton, which are low static materials. You can also rub dryer sheets on your clothes, or mist them with a little bit of hairspray to keep static electricity at bay.